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Horizon League Locks Up Three Year Extension of Exclusive Hoops Deal with ESPN

Friday, January 29, 2010 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 2:29 PM, under , , , , ,

ESPN just keeps on locking up and/or retaining sports property after sports property. The latest deal, announced today, is a multi-year extension with the Horizon League for "enhanced coverage of basketball across numerous ESPN platforms, making ESPN the exclusive national cable home for Horizon League men’s basketball events through 2013."

Will it be much longer before they geab the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament from CBS Sports?

Here is the full press release from ESPN:

ESPN and Horizon League announce multi-year deal through 2013

League games to be featured on multiple ESPN platforms for the next three years

ESPN and the Horizon League have announced a multi-year agreement for enhanced coverage of basketball across numerous ESPN platforms, making ESPN the exclusive national cable home for Horizon League men’s basketball events through 2013. The announcement was made by Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming, and Horizon League Commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone.
The new pact includes distribution rights for Horizon League programming across multiple ESPN platforms, including,, ESPN Pay-Per-View, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and more.

“We are excited to extend our exclusive agreement with the Horizon League and to add more coverage to our schedule,” said Magnus. “With this agreement, college sports fans will continue to see the quality and depth of the Horizon League in more ways than ever before.”

Over the three-year deal, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and will provide coverage of a minimum of 60 Horizon League events, including men’s basketball regular-season games and selected rounds of the men’s and women’s basketball championships. Details include:
  • Coverage of at least seven regular-season basketball games as well as the men’s basketball championship semifinals and the women’s basketball championship game each year of the contract on ESPNU. 
  • A minimum of four regular-season men’s basketball appearances annually on ESPN or ESPN2, plus the men’s basketball championship game during Championship Week
  • Annual coverage of seven men’s basketball games exclusive to, ESPN’s live broadband sports network, as well as simulcasts of additional ESPN Full Court games. 
  • Continued participation by all 10 Horizon League teams in ESPN’s annual BracketBusters event.  
“We are extremely pleased to extend our agreement with ESPN, which has been a long-time partner with the Horizon League,” said LeCrone. “This extension recognizes the growth of our League and also takes advantage of new and emerging technologies while taking into account the fluid distribution-marketplace of today’s media world.”

Horizon League
Comprised of 10 public and private institutions of higher learning, the Horizon League is an NCAA Division I athletics conference that sponsors 19 intercollegiate championships and is headquartered in Indianapolis. The League and its member institutions aspire to teach young people, through athletic competition, the value of learning, service to others and personal responsibility.

Member institutions of the Horizon League are Butler University (Indianapolis), Cleveland State University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Valparaiso (Ind.) University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) and Youngstown (Ohio) State University.

Horizon League teams have enjoyed national success in a variety of sports in recent years, most notably in men’s basketball, in which its teams have advanced to the Regional semifinals of the NCAA Championship three times in the past seven seasons.

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